How Microlearning Works for Different Types of Learners

How Microlearning Works for Different Types of Learners


Absorb LMS


content library, elearning


Microlearning is the science-backed strategy that more and more companies are discovering is ideal for learners in the modern workplace. Compared to traditional long form learning modules, microlearning is considered 17% more efficient. Long form modules were created for a workplace that was used to day-long trainings. They intended to digitize the training sessions while preserving the teaching style. However, innovations in training have made clear that there are better options for how digital training can provide effective learning. Microlearning can’t replace everything – there are some skills that are better taught in-person, or in a more complex module. But it can be a great way to teach a wide variety of common core concepts for business-related training. This article will go over some of the common ways that this training can fit into the work lives of modern workers.

The Constantly Interrupted Employee

Workers are constantly switching tasks to work as efficiently as possible for their company. They are also constantly taking in new information: via Slack, email, and conference calls. The thousands of productivity and task-tracking apps and services out there belies how much workers are struggling to keep from being overwhelmed and stop information from slipping through the cracks. Evidence supports that the overwhelm is real – employees are, on average, interrupted every 11 minutes by new notifications, etc. Microlearning is designed to overcome this and provide focus. With modules that last from 3–10 minutes on average, lessons can fit in between these interruptions, making it easier to absorb new information. This works – various studies show that microlearning increases long-term retention of knowledge.

The Learn-As-They-Go Employee

If an employee is overwhelmed, it may be difficult for them to truly focus on any information that is not immediately relevant to the task. This is a problem when it comes to long form modules. Information that is not immediately relevant is ignored when employees are forced to complete long trainings. With an hour-long module, it may be impossible to call up the key concept at that 1.3 hour mark to refresh oneself on the information before the task begins. Microlearning is designed to be used and revisited as the information is needed. Think of the way you complete tasks at home: you don’t take an hour training on changing your car oil then change it three weeks later. You are more likely to wait and pull up a YouTube video just before you begin the task. Then the video accompanies you while you complete the oil change. Or – maybe you remember most of how to complete this task but need a refresher on just choosing the right type of oil. It is easy to pull up a short video which will cover just this one piece of the process. Employees can do essentially the same thing with microlearning. They are able to pull up short modules covering 1–2 key concepts related their specific task while they are completing it. For example, an onboarding video teaching employees how to file a PTO request may be revisited a few times a year each time they file a PTO request. This keeps microlearning more relevant – and that is reflected in engagement rates. Most companies that switch to microlearning see an increase in learner engagement – sometimes as much as 90%.

The Legally-Regulated Employee

Some employees are in positions that deal with strict compliance laws that may be updated on a regular basis. This can include anyone from machine operators to those that have to maintain the privacy of clients and customers. The good news is that microlearning has a great advantage in these situations: because the learning is broken up into short modules, they are easy, fast, and cheap to update. Remember: with a long-form module, each update requires creating a new piece of video then splicing it into existing videos. When re-editing entire courses, rendering times are long and the editing process is clunky. It can also be difficult to ensure consistency throughout the video, because you may not be able to obtain the same crew you hired when you initially created it. For legacy courses especially, original files may be lost, making this task more difficult. Sometimes editing the existing course is impossible and the entire hour-long course needs to be rebuilt. With microlearning each piece of the course is short and self-sufficient, as each video is broken up into key concepts that are independent of each other. All one has to do when regulations change is build a brand-new 3-minute course and upload it to replace the previous 3-minute module covering that particular compliance concept. This makes it easier and faster to keep all employees up to date on the latest regulation regarding their role.

Microlearning Works for Everyone

The modern employee landscape is one of information overwhelm and constant changes. Microlearning is an adaptable, focused solution for the challenges of learning in that environment.

Absorb Amplify is a brand-new microlearning solution by Absorb. Make training easier by eliminating the need for costly in-person or web classes with a turnkey content library that's available on demand within the Absorb LMS. Engineered just right, these micro-learning courses are designed to engage learners and retain knowledge.

For more information about eLearning content options and how they integrate with Absorb LMS, reach out to our experts or request a demo today.

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